Sunday, November 28, 2010
Sarah Cahill and The Mystical Tone
San Francisco Performances has been sponsoring a series of intimate music recitals in a small room at the Hotel Rex...
...a century-old boutique establishment on Sutter Street a block away from downtown's Union Square.
On Wednesday, November 17, the pianist Sarah Cahill above presented a recital of music by Satie, Scriabin, Dane Rudhyar, Ruth Crawford, and the 20th century English medium Rosemary Brown who supposedly channeled a number of 19th century composers such as Chopin and Schubert. The concert was called "The Mystical Tone," and for those in the audience who had come to hear "Hearts of Space" type of ambient music, the program must have been something of a shock, since most of the evening was dissonant and ear-opening rather than soothing, New Age droning. (For more on the music, check out Not For Fun Only.)
Cahill talked with the audience afterwards, and my favorite question was "What does mystical mean?" for which the interrogator seemed to want an answer that was 25 words or less, which Ms. Cahill couldn't supply. She's talking above with composer Luciano Chessa, who is curating a concert this Thursday evening celebrating Sylvano Bussotti at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
In the interim, I visited the foundational site for some of Sarah's program, the century-old Theosophist "Temple of the People" in Halcyon on the Central California coast. More on that later.